Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
11,569 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU

Added by kbub6f on 07-05-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,569 |  Reviews: 3,072
Photo of Joey7F
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am very impressed with Sierra Nevada after trying their pale ale. I had some of this at a barbeque where we had some spicy indian chicken. The floral hoppy quality of the beer was refreshing and complimented the spicy food. It is very drinkable and is slightly creamy. The tingling after taste is one of the better ones from any beer I can think of. Apparently their other offerings are equally impressive. I can't wait until I can try the Celebration Ale (I just turned 21 so I could get it back when the stores had it) Highly recommended.


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Photo of IronDjinn
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a slighty hazed near-twilight amber, small suspended particles. Head was a thick flash of dense white fizz, which recedes probably due to the hop oil presence. Aroma of cascade hops, citrus, a bit over evergreen and some biscuity malt. Flavour is a nice dose of hops up front, citrus and pine tones, all with an underlying sweet malt body that does a fairly decent job of holding the whole thing together. Full carbonated mouthfeel up front, with a smooth but oily finish that is quenching, this goes down easy. Would definitely like to get my hands on more of this stuff, as I could see a new session favorite in the making.

A classic, was my very first intoduction to American pale ales back in the day, and a pleasure to revisit. Straight four's on the board for this one, thanks to northyorksammy for sending one my way to sample. It's been a very long while since I had one of these, and it brings back fond memories indeed.

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Photo of Gritsak
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i keep finding myself drinking this at bars, but this is the first time ive bought a 6pack of it. i love the bright amber color of this beer.

it has a bitter smell with hints of fruit

you can taste the hops right off the bat..with a medium amount of carbonation with a little fruity after taste.

i could see myself drinking a 6pack of this easily. the taste is really refreshing and unique.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This came to my table as an brilliant copper orange without much head. The lacing was pretty minor too.

The flavor is decidedly good. There's a fair amount of hops in here; I think they could even label it as an IPA. I think it would be better with a little more balance, and a small reduction in hops.

As much as some like to complain that this stuff is overhyped or too commercialized, this is still very much a good beer.

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Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hops and cream and noticeable creamy head. Taste with an offsetting bitterness that I didn't care for or expect. Strong bitter mouthfeel Citrus floral and pine aroma. Inexpensive.
Had this 3 years later on-tap and this review is based on that, at Pizza Port Solena Beach Lace, a serviceable pale. AFter so many good pales, Sierra finds its way among the pack, but was sure a revalation when I first had it.

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Photo of brewQ
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beautiful burnt orange color with an ivory head that holds well- fed by very fine carbonation.

I pick up sweetness and fruitiness that yields to a nice burst of flavor. A refreshing tang of hops in the finish,

This, for me, is the definition of quality drinkability.(Plus, I finished 3 of these just to savor and report the flavor).

SN represents the best in product quality and integrity- I like this stuff.

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Photo of CrescentFresh
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My personal favourite of all time. The cascade hops are quite strong but not overbearing. Pours well, smells great, tastes better, feels smooth going down. This is the beer I try to clone whenever I make a batch of home brew. I wanted to rank it a 5, but Sierra Nevada might bring out a new version one day that's even better.

4.5 out of 5 swills, and that's not being generous.

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Photo of filabrazilia
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark golden with a thin white head. Good lace left on the glass.

There is a sweet malt aroma that is the most memorable smell. I was wondering where the hops were. I could not detect the trademark floral hops that I come to expect with this beer. Despite that, the sweet malts were nice.

The hops were in the taste and they were a nice match to the carmel sweetness.

This beer was a little thin but still smooth and easy on the mouth. A very silky smooth offering from SN.

This is a very drinkable beer that I want to have again. Perhaps my bottle had been on the shelf a little longer than it should have been.

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Photo of Jacobier10
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap @ Peculier Pub in Greenwich Village, NYC.

I see people drinking these wherever I go, so I thought I'd give it another shot since I haven't had it in a couple of months. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale definitely has a bit of kick to it. It pours out a nice amber color with a slight head. The one thing you notice about it right away are the hops. They are bright and outweigh the malt by quite a bit, making it a bit too imbalanced. This causes a dry sensation when drinking it, but it still tastes good.

I polished off a six-pack of this before a Yankees World Series game last October, but I have to admit it was a bit of a struggle near the end of the pack. I usually prefer a much mellower beer, but this is indeed a nice change every once in a while. A decent beer, but a little overrated.

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Photo of Southernbrew
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid gold color, nice bubbly head.

Strong aroma, very hoppy, some sweetness.

Nice full body, strong hops presence, very smooth. Light floral notes, slight touch of dryness in the finish.

Exactly what I expect from a pale ale. Definitely a beer to try when discovering "good beer" and one I will continue to buy.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was served from a 12 oz. bottle. In a pint glass, the beer was a brilliant copper-orange hue hazed by a suspension of fine particulates, and topped with a scattered white head that left nice lacing. The nose was mouthwatering, exuding a soft sweetish maltiness and a very lively zingy citric hop bouquet. The taste was firm and crisp, with a dry malt base that presented a limey zip transition into the clean bitter citric finish. The body was richly full. All of this made for an extremely refreshing and very tasty brew that makes for great drinking. A solid effort, worth having some on hand at all times.

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Photo of chrishickman
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Having finished my Old Chicago World Beer Tour, I decided I was now to the point where I was going to drink beer I liked for the most part, and not be too adventurous. Sadly, I didn't take any notes so I have to rely on my feeble memory!

After having one of my favorite local beers, Millstream Schild Brau (Amber Ale), I decided I wanted something with some hoppy kick to it and saw the SNPA on tap. Boy, I got what I asked for and more! You can't ask for more hop flavor out of a "all year" beer, I mean there was not too much subtley to describe, just knock you on your ass hop clean and fresh hop flavor.1 This beer goes down easy and has a nice head for the style, great lacing. I have no idea why people would drink something like Bud (which laughably touts its high quality hops in their commercials) when stuff like this is available nationally. This will definitely be my "go to" beer when I want something hoppy, though usually I like something a little mellower in this area. Great beer though.

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Photo of JeffreyG
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is becomming an American Classic. This beer is solidly enjoyable, complex in flavor but clean enough to go well with a variety of foods and be refreshing. Also makes a good session brew. The hops in this beer are flowery and bright. The flavor is crisp and citrusy. There is just enough malt to balance the hop flavor and ease into the finish. A solid APA and probably the best made mass produced beer.

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Photo of jimdkc
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly darker than I'd call amber, smallish head that dissipated quickly. Leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass. Smell is a mild hop scent, not too strong, but pleasant.

Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I expected, but the carbonation was nice.

Good spicy hop taste with just enough malt for balance with a bit of yeast, too. To me, the bitterness was just the right amount. Crisp finish. Very drinkable

I liked this a lot. It will probably be one of my regulars!

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper with an off-white head. Lacy and a bit fizzy. Smell is grassy and hoppy. Floral hops and light citrus aromas.

Taste is just above average. Grassy and creamy pale malt. A nice hop profile and crsip. A bit fruity with a nice hoppy finish. Nicely balanced. A bit creamy and very very drinkable. Refreshing. The ultimate fallback beer and an old favorite of mine.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a slightly hazy golden amber with a foamy off white head. Left ok lace. Aroma of sweet malt, citrusy hops and some fruit.
Tastes of sweet malt, caramel and tangy fruits segueing into
citrusy/spicy hops with a nod towards grapefruit and a bit of pepper.
Light to medium bodied but perhaps a wee heavy on the carbonation. Phenomenal drinkability as always.
This was the beer that opened my eyes to the potential of American microbrews over 20 years ago. I have a lot of respect for it, but also realize we've come a long way since then. While not the best one out there now, it's good to see it still holds up so well. Kudos to Sierra Nevada for this classic brew!

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Photo of stirgy
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally – I come full circle and back to one of the early names from the beer revolution. It’s good to slow down and focus on a classic like this. Slightly hazy and golden orange in color. A lively and well carbonated beer with a large frothy head. The aroma gives off sweet fruity hops with cherry, apricot and some floral notes. The bitterness is pleasant and just perfect in this beer. Very natural tasting. Matches with a medium body of fruity and sweet malts. Still is the benchmark for the west coast pale style. A beautiful beer.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Ah, the classic micro. It’s funny; I drink this ALL the time, but I just realized I’ve never reviewed it.

Appearance: A moderate pour produces a quarter inch of smooth, off-white foam that lasts for a minute or so. It leaves a ring and some decent lacing. The body is a slightly hazy pale amber with extremely fine carbonation. Pretty, but not a prom queen.

Smell: A really nice balance of hop spice and unusually fruity yeast esters over a base of sweet malt. Mild, conventional, but quite pleasant.

Taste/Mouthfeel: If there’s such a thing as what pale ale “should” taste like, this is it. Starts out rich and malty, with a slightly tangy sweetness. As it moves to the back of your tongue, the bitterness and citrus flavors of the hops makes their presence known, and the finish is crisp and almost ESB bitter. The mouthfeel is smooth, soft and light/medium bodied, although the carbonation is a bit sharper up front than I'd like.

Drinkability: Second to none, IMHO. Probably the most “sessionable” pale out there; while it doesn’t have any strong/outstanding flavors, everything that should be there is there and works together seamlessly.

This beer is sort of like a great bicycle; you don’t think much about it because it always does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It’s easy to understand how this beer help launch the micro revolution—it never lets you down.

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Photo of jwilli7122
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours gold/amber with a very nice looking medium-sized white head with great lacing. smell is simple citric hops. taste is simple but solid - smooth bready malt taste surrounded by citric hops. there is no hidden treasure - but there is no letdown either. I can see why this is considered by some to be the standard american pale ale. a good beer.

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Photo of TinusTime
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a shade darker than amber with a whispy little head. Aroma is of Hops, nice citrus piney floral hops. Once you smell it you know what you are in for. Taste starts off with a little prickly hops on the tongue , melds into a bit of nice malt in the middle, then drys off strong with the Cascade hops. Mouthfeel is nice with great carbonation keeping the beer from being astringent on the tongue. Drinkability-- I could drink this all day no matter the season. One of the benchmarks for American Pale Ale. For a lot of people i know this is the when all else fails- beer , as it is widely available and often the only craft beer on tap.. This is not a knock because this is a very tasty beer

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, this is a beautiful beer. The perfect white head floats atop a beautiful amber brew that is brimming with hoppy goodness. As I come back to the beer, I'm always impressed by the malty nose that so pleasantly contrasts the intense hop finish. It is a wonderful beer, but it requires a true appreciation of cascade hops to enjoy.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quintessential amber with a blizzard of fine yeast suspended within. The beer is topped by a bone white crown that is rocky and pitting as it melts. Unfortunately, the lid didn't last very long. There's a decent amount of lace, though nothing too special. The nose is of average intensity and is primarily of citrusy hops.

The flavor profile is on the simple and straightforward side; not that that's a bad thing. Each mouthful starts out with a gently spicy-bitter push, backed by a solid underlay of malt. Things don't really change in character from start to finish or with warming.

Although SNBC uses Cascade hops (along with Magnum and Perle), grapefruit zest isn't bursting across the tongue. The mouthfeel is slightly more full than medium and has no rough edges whatsoever.

I expected very good things from Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and was just a little let down in the end. It's not that it's bad beer, not by a long shot, but there are better versions out there. I'm sure I'll come back to it again since it's so widely available (and since my local hoppy options are so limited).

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4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Deep amber color with perfect clarity. Billowy long-withstanding white head leaves plenty of lace. Quite appealing in appearance.

Mixture of citrus and floral hops and a nutty aroma lingers. Hints of pine as it warms a bit.

Taste starts tangy with a lemony bite on the palate. Then a slight touch of sweetness ( like nut and honey) is present, but finishes well with slight bitter hop.

A lighter mouthfeel I guess is to be expected.

Built for Summertime enjoyment (IMO). Not hard to drink this throughout the day I imagine.

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Photo of flaminghomer
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this wasn't as bitter as i remember. maybe my palate has grown more loving of pale ales. i don't know.

i noticed that there was sediment at the bottom of the bottle so i gave it a healthy swirl to help make it a bit better looking. i thought that this would make it a bit cloudy but instead it was pretty clear with a bunch of little floaties hoppin about. i guess it's yeast?

taste was very crisp and clean. the hops were not as strong as i remember but they were there. i found it to be very drinkable and good. i'll buy it again.

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Photo of RocketWidget
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a bad beer at all. Currently enjoying this brew while waiting for my homebrew wort to chill, so really in the beer mood!
Pours a true gold color, with lots of sediment and average head. Smell is crisp and hoppy but not overpowering. Taste sets a very good standard, hoppy and sweet and just enough bitter flavor. A very drinkable brew. Overall recommended.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 11,569 ratings